Director: Roman Polanski. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, James Belushi, Eli Wallach. 128 min. Rated PG-13. France/Germany/UK. Political/Suspense.
Polanski's latest has obvious parables to his own life as an exile in another country: an ex-British PM, accused of war crimes, is forced to stay in the US until further notice. But this beautifully crafted political thriller goes far beyond a filmmaker's quibbles about life. The plot's conspiracy theory (involving the ex-PM's origins) are quite outrageous; but Polanski's skills in creating paranoia while delicately putting the viewer in the hero's shoes (as he pieces together evidence in a whodunit-style story, reminiscent of Polanski's The Ninth Gate), offer pure delight. It's nice watching great directors occasionally take on small projects.
(PS: And again, I can't believe Eli Wallach!)